I don’t think I’ve watched a Bollywood movie twice. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve watched a Bollywood movie twice in two days. Vikas Bahl’s Queen lured me to the theatre once, and then again, the very next day. Never has a movie moved me to tears and laughter in equal measure…and I realize it is not perhaps because Queen is the best movie ever made (although I find it rather flawless) but because Queen is the story of my life. Queen is perhaps the story of many other Indian women out there, torn between two generations of thought, torn between love and their own and torn from the aching, gnawing space in the room when a marriage is called off.
I lived through every emotion, every tear, every fear, every last despair shown in the movie; it is as real to me as it is possibly to hundreds of women out there. Women who lose love, women who do not know who to turn to; for when love deserts you, who do you turn to?
It is a question that has lived with me for sometime now- when love leaves you, who do you turn to? Your mother and father whose pain is often greater than your own, your friends who told you so, or perhaps tell you now rather frivolously to move on? Your work that is as hollow as all the new people you are forced to meet…In Vikas Bahl’s Queen, when love leaves, the protagonist turns to the world…
Father, sons, brothers, and friends can not always heal what a vast and empty road ahead full of strangers can. I say this from the room I tried so hard to fill, but learned rather sadly that if you are alone in love, you are more alone in losing it.
But as in Queen, the faster you keep moving, the more yes-es you learn to say, the more you learn not to turn your nose up to what is unlikely of you, the easier and more beautiful life gets. The more flights you take, trains to somewhere, roads to nowhere, the closer you land up to you.
Queen is a flurry of new places, faces, friends, food and experiences. In finding more and more, she learns to let go a little more…until the end where the words she’s left with are quite simply, ‘Thank You.’
Exactly two years later, two years since I moved back to Bombay, the words I’m left with quite simply are, ‘Thank You.’ There is no easy way to come to terms with being let down harshly by someone you nearly decided to spend your life with.
But there is a way. There is a way. And on that way paved with running away from everything you were, and finding everything you are not, you discover…
You. Queen, Forever.